ANDERSON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Amanda Santos had high hopes for Camden Military Academy. The California mother enrolled her son there back in 2014. She said his Bay Area high school wasn't working.
"He needed smaller class sizes. He needed all those things he wasn't getting from his public high school here at home," she told WIS in a FaceTime interview on Thursday. "You know, I think it was initially difficult for him, but then, you know, slowly, everything started to fall into place."
Santos said things changed during her son's junior year at the school that trains young cadets into military leaders.
"Even though he was across the country, we still had a lot of communication with each other. He called me or texted me almost every day," Santos said.
Santos said she and her husband discovered an inappropriate relationship between her son and an administrator and instructor at the school: John Heflin.
"So much of the communication was extremely inappropriate and just not something that a teacher and a student would ever need to be communicating about, and also, keep in mind that he's not just a teacher, John Heflin, but he's also the Dean of Students," she said.
Santos' recently filed lawsuit claims text messages day and night, sexual innuendos, and promises of sexual favors. It also claims the school did nothing to stop it.
They're allegations the school and Heflin have denied in court documents – and in a statement.
"We are not aware of any information to support the allegations against CMA or John Heflin and the allegations are denied," the statement read, in part.
Nevertheless, the mother will keep fighting for her son, who she claims is psychologically and emotionally hurt.
"I am anxious for this to come to light and for us to have the chance to tell our side of the story and show our proof," Santos said.
The federal lawsuit is only in its discovery phase.
Meanwhile, after WIS' original story, another Camden Military Academy parent reached out to say the school and Heflin have done nothing but great things for her sons.